Prof. Brian Beale, Cooperating Professor of Marine Ecology, Research Director of Downeast Institute, University of Maine
Dr. Beal is a professor of marine ecology at the University of Maine at Machias (UMM). His position at UMM is divided equally between teaching and research, and includes his work at DEI. In addition, Dr. Beal directs UMM’s Marine Field Station at Black Duck Cove.
A native of Jonesport, Maine, Dr. Beal graduated from UMM in 1979 with a B.S. degree in Biology and went on to earn an M.S. degree in Marine Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He obtained a Ph.D. in Marine Bio-Resources from the University of Maine at Orono.
Dr. Beal was instrumental in establishing Maine’s first lobster hatchery in the town of Cutler in 1986. He worked with clammers and shellfish committees in six Washington County towns to create Maine’s first public clam hatchery in 1987, known as the Beals Island Regional Shellfish Hatchery. Dr. Beal is known for his work with soft-shell clams throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada. He was a 2000-2001 Fulbright scholar at the National University of Ireland, Galway where he worked with Irish fishermen and researchers on ocean-based nurseries for cultured European lobster (Homarus gammarus) juveniles.
Peter Bryant, Senior Program Officer, Walton Personal Philanthropy Group and The Builders Initiative
Peter Bryant is a senior program officer focused on strategy development, environmental grant-making, and impact investment opportunities for the Walton Personal Philanthropy Group and The Builders Initiative, a new foundation established by a third generation member of the Walton family. Within these institutions, Peter is focused on the oceans sustainability, including fisheries management, aquaculture, ocean conservation, and climate resilience work. Peter also leads an impact investing strategy for the office, which is focused on early stage investment opportunities in businesses and funds that seek to improve oceans health.
Previously, Peter spent nine years at the Walton Family Foundation managing ocean and fisheries grant-making within the Environment Program with a focus on international geographies, including Indonesia, Chile, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Peter has more than 20 years’ experience in freshwater and marine conservation, previously managing programs on river conservation and marine fisheries at several organizations, including The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund. Early in his career, Peter focused on corporate partnerships for conservation and communications and marketing.
Peter received his undergraduate degree in economics from Colby College and has a Master’s in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He lives with his children in Carlsbad, California.
Thierry Chopin, Ph.D., Professor of Marine Biology, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, Canada
Dr. Thierry Chopin was born and educated in France. He obtained his Doctorate from the University of Western Brittany, Brest, France. He moved to Canada in 1989 and is presently Professor of Marine Biology at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John.
Dr. Chopin’s research focuses on the ecophysiology, biochemistry and cultivation of seaweeds of commercial value and the development of Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) systems for environmental sustainability (nutrient biomitigation and other ecosystem services, and green technologies for improved ecosystem health), economic stability (improved output, product diversification, risk reduction and job creation in coastal communities) and societal acceptability (better management practices, improved regulatory governance and appreciation of differentiated and safe products).
Dr. Chopin was, from 2010 to 2017, the Scientific Director of the Canadian Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture Network (CIMTAN), an interdisciplinary strategic network of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
He created the company Chopin Coastal Health Solutions Inc. in July 2016 and is its President.
Dr. Chopin is Past President of the Aquaculture Association of Canada, the Phycological Society of America and the International Seaweed Association. He is an advisor to the International Foundation for Science and a member of the Editorial Boards of six journals and one professional magazine. He is a columnist with International Aquafeed.
Dr. Chopin is the recipient of the NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation, the Aquaculture Association of Canada Research Award of Excellence, the New Brunswick BioSciences Achievement Award, the R3 (Research, Results, Recognition) Award of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, and the Coup de Coeur Award of the Conseil Economique du Nouveau-Brunswick.
Val Zavala was anchor and executive producer of “SoCal Connected” until her retirement in 2018. Since joining KCET in 1987 she has won 15 L.A. Emmy awards. She has covered major issues in southern California politics, education, government, demographics, healthcare, environment, economy, and arts and culture. She has been honored for her community service by numerous organizations including the California Chicano News Media Association, and Hispanic Americans for Fairness in Media among others. She was a John S. Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford University in 1993. She received her M.A. in journalism from American University and her B.A. in Latin American Studies from Yale University.